MOSCOW, June 18 (RAPSI) – The Council of Europe (COE) has denied a Russian media report about the alleged connection between Belgian authorities’ decision to seize Russian assets and the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling on Yukos, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Belgian bailiffs notified Belgian, Russian and international companies in Belgium about the seizure of Russian assets at the request of former Yukos shareholders, who have won a lawsuit filed at The Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration.

One Russian news agency reported, citing a document provided by the bailiffs, that the seizure warrants cite several reasons for seizure, including a decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that Russia refused to implement.

Spokesman for the Council of Europe Daniel Holtgen recalled that the COE Committee of Ministers and Russia continue to discuss the implementation of the ECHR ruling by Russia.

The Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration announced last July that it had issued awards in three cases filed against Russia. The tribunal ordered Russia to pay Yukos Universal Limited (Isle of Man) over $1.8 billion in damages. Hulley Enterprises Limited (Cyprus) was awarded about $40 billion and Veteran Petroleum Limited (Cyprus) over $8 billion. Russian authorities moved to set aside the ruling and turned to the District Court in The Hague.

Last July the ECHR handed down a judgment ordering Russia to pay ex-Yukos shareholders about 1.9 billion euros. The judgment became final in December after Russia’s request for referral of the case to the Grand Chamber had been rejected. Russia is expected to submit a detailed plan for the distribution of the award in cooperation with the Committee of Ministers by July 15.